Whether we talk about obtaining permits, registering documents, or simply requesting information, the process is often riddled with “red tape” in Romania. However, a wave of change is upon us. On July 4, 2023, Law no. 9/2023* came into effect in Romania, aiming to bring simplification in the central and local public administration.
A Shift Towards Simplicity
The new law obligates all public institutions in Romania, specialist bodies of central and local public administration, as well as private legal entities authorized to provide a public service or recognized as of public utility, to embrace transparency and digital transformation.
Embracing Digital Solutions
These entities are now required to publish information and model forms or applications related to all the public services they provide. And it doesn’t end here; the forms must be available electronically, on their respective websites, and the Unified Electronic Contact Point, as defined by the Government Decision no. 922/2010, in an easily downloadable and editable format. The idea is to simplify the user experience, allowing anyone to complete their forms electronically.
Simplifying Identity Verification
In the quest to make bureaucratic procedures less daunting, the law stipulates a radical shift in identity verification methods. The institutions must now accept a digital copy of the identity card, transmitted via email, while ensuring the compliance with laws regarding the protection of individuals’ personal data. Moreover, they are mandated to publish an email address for receiving these identity card copies, on both the Unified Electronic Contact Point and their own websites.
Moreover, the act calls for a reduction in paperwork. The institutions can no longer demand legally certified copies of documents when providing public services. Instead, a competent official will be responsible for certifying their compliance with the original. The law also eliminates the requirement for physical folders, binders, or any other stationery items for processing applications, streamlining the process significantly.
Easing Physical Document Submission
Additionally, if public institutions, specialist bodies of central and local public administration, and private legal entities under public power, who have obtained public utility status or are authorized to provide a public service, require physical copies of various documents, applications, or forms, they must provide photocopying services free of charge. However, this provision does not apply to documents, applications, or forms issued by central public authorities and institutions.
This legislative update aims to cut the red tape in Romanian public administration, moving towards simpler and more efficient processes. By embracing digital solutions, reducing paperwork, and providing free photocopying services, Romania is striving to become more accessible and user-friendly for all citizens. Time will reveal the impact of these changes on the administrative landscape, but the path to a more streamlined bureaucracy is promising.
* Law no. 9/2023 for the amendment and completion of the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 41/2016** regarding the establishment of simplification measures at the level of the central public administration and for the modification and completion of other normative acts.
** Government emergency ordinance no. 41/2016 regarding the establishment of simplification measures at the level of the central public administration and for the modification and completion of some normative acts, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, no. 490 of June 30, 2016, approved with amendments by Law no. 179/2017